MUNICH: An astonishing 8.8m people watched the penalty shoot-out climax of Switzerland v Ukraine on Monday night.
It’s difficult to calculate how many of those were waiting for the News but, if they were, it was good of them to stay tuned and thereby swell our viewing figures.
Continue reading "You’re all doing terribly well"
OLYMPIC STADIUM, BERLIN - Michael Ballack wasn't at training which caused a brief flutter of excitment amongst those of us at the German training ground next door to where they hope to win the World Cup on July 9th.
When Miroslav Klose falied to show as well it became a major news event until the German Football Federation's (DFB) highly efficient media staff nipped any talk of a selection crisis in the bud with a quick bulletin on their fitness which was quickly gobbled up by the half-dozen or so TV stations taking Robert Huth sweating profusely live.
Continue reading "Don't write them off......"
IBC, MUNICH - Last week producer Sarah Williams asked for your suggestions for music to accompany an England montage. Here she explains what she chose and why.
Continue reading "England montage reprise"
HANNOVER - We haven’t really discovered a theme tune for this World Cup while driving Svan up and down the autobahn, possibly because while one of us drives the other is often in the back working.
My introduction of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons – the original German version – on the stereo yesterday was just met with bemusement from Fletch, so I think it’s a non-starter.
Continue reading "The Germans' taste in music"
LONDON - The BBC and ITV have agreed the division of games for the quarter finals. The games will be shown on TV in the UK as follows:
Friday 30 June
Germany v Argentina 1600 BST ko. ITV
Italy v Ukraine 2000 BST ko. BBC
Saturday 1 July
England v Portugal 1600 BST ko BBC
Brazil or Ghana v Spain or France 2000 BST ko ITV
The BBC games will also be streamed on broadband (UK only).
If England reach the semi-final stage, both BBC and ITV will show the game live, with ITV showing the remaining semi-final exclusively.
If England do not reach the semi-final stage, ITV will have first pick of the semi-final games, with BBC broadcasting the other match.
Both broadcasters will show the World Cup final live.
All games will be on Five Live, with the commentary streamed on this website (UK only)
LONDON - The Black Stars may not seem to have much of a chance against Brazil (odds = 10-1).
But it's a more even contest in the music stakes - watch hip-hop rapscallion Sway (Ghana) take on beatboxsamba boys Instituto (Brasil) in this rap-off. The Ghanaians certainly do like to party. Our production manager Kofi was born there - and whipped a bongo out from under his desk for a spot of drumming after qualification was secure.
HANNOVER - Spain have a well-earned reputation for disappointing at major tournaments - but here at an overcast Hannover both players and supporters are confident of beating the French this evening.
Last night I went to watch Spain's final training session before their second-round match and Luis Aragones' squad looked focused and relaxed.
Continue reading "Spain ready to deliver?"
LONDON - "My soul is crumbling," was how one Australian described the pain of their last-minute defeat to Italy on Radio Five Live.
To some England fans who have suffered decades of heartbreak, often also at the hand of perceived cheating, or penalties, or both, it may seem sweet justice that their Antipodean cousins get to drink from the same sour-tasting cup so early in their fledgling foray into football.
But you have to feel for them, don't you. Don't you..?
Continue reading "My soul is crumbling"